• Peru Basics


For practical reasons Peru is geographically divided in three regions but in fact there are 8 Natural Regions.

• The Coast: This is the area next to the Pacific Ocean, featuring deserts, beautiful beaches and fertile valleys.

• The Highlands: Area dominated by the Andes Mountain Range, with altitudes as high as 6.768 masl (22.204 feet) reached in the summit of the Huascaran snow-capped peak.

• The Jungle: This is an area with lush tropical vegetation forming part of the Peruvian Amazon Region, home to Peru’s largest natural reserved areas.


The Coast
There are two well-defined seasons: the summer season (December to April) with temperatures reaching 27°C (80°F); and the winter season (May to October) which is very humid and cold, with temperatures dropping to 12°C (53°F). Although it hardly rains on the Peruvian coast, fog and fine ram or drizzle (garuas) are common in the winter. In the north coast the sun shines all year round, and temperatures rise to 35°C (95°F) in the summer.

The Highlands
This region has a dry and moderate climate, with two well-defined seasons: the summer season (May to October) with sunny days, very cold nights and hardly any rain -ideal time to visit- and the rainy season (December to March). In the Highlands one can witness sharp temperature changes - between 20°C (68°F) and -2°C (35°F) - in a single day.

The Jungle
With a humid and tropical climate, the jungle has two clearly distinguished seasons: the summer or flowing season (May to October) with sunny days and temperatures in excess of 30°C (86°F) and the rainy season (November to March) with frequent rains and increased river volumes. You may find information on Peruvian weather by visiting the following Internet sites: • www.senamhi.gob.pe • www.weather.com

You can find tourist information in the Internet: www.promperu.gob.pe

Spanish and Quechua are the official languages in Peru; although Spanish a more widespread. Another language recognized by the Peruvian government is Aymara, as well as 48 other native languages. It is possible to communicate in English with the operators who provide tourist services, such as the tourist guides, travel agencies staff and persons working in three, four and five-star hotels.

(-5 H. GMT) Lima 12 NOON: • Buenos Aires 2 pm. • Berlin 7 p.m. • Tokyo 2 a.m. + 1


The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.) which is divided into 100 cents. Coins in circulation include the amounts of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles. Paper bills come in 10,20,50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles. US Dollars are accepted in most commercial establishments, restaurants and service stations, in the current exchange rate. Most of the establishments accept the most popular credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express. Travelers’ Checks are used with some limitations. Inquire in the establishment as to whether or not they are accepted. Some establishments add a surcharge when purchasing in credit cards. When paying with a credit card, make sure you are only paying the amount of the service or goods purchased. ELECTRIC POWER 220 volts. Most four and five-star hotels provide 110 volt electric current.

If you plan on traveling to the Jungle, the administration of a yellow Fever vaccine 10 days in advance is recommended. Places in Lima where the vaccine can be administered: Jorge Chavez International Airport — 2nd floor Tel: (01) 575-1745 Service hours: Monday through Sunday, 24 hours • International Vaccination Center Capac Yupanqui 1400, Lima 1 Tel: (01) 471-9920, Extension 1215 Service hours: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This is not required for citizens of most countries in the Americas and Western Europe. Citizens of Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile do not need to have a passport or visa to visit certain regions in Peru, In these cases they are authorized to stay up to 90 days (extendable by immigration authorities). Inquire with the Peruvian consular representation in your country if you need further information. Their addresses and telephone numbers can be found in the web site of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs • www.rree.gob.pe

Present to the immigration Officer the International Embarkation/Disembarkation Card (given to the traveler in the airplane or in the immigration stand in the border area you are coming through). Keep the card, since you will have to turn it in when you leave the country. If you lose it you will have to pay a fine equivalent to 4 US$. • Customs officers will give you a form for you to declare any goods subject to customs duties you may be bringing in. If none, specify that you have nothing to declare. The following are exempt from duty: items and clothes for personal use, portable computers and adventure tourism gear, for more detailed information, inquire in the Peruvian diplomatic representation in your country. • On the same form, you must declare whether you are bringing in any vegetable or animal species. If so, you will need to have a permit from the competent sanitary authorities in your country. If you do not have the necessary sanitation documents, Peruvian sanitation authorities may order your vegetable species to be incinerated and thin the animal be sacrificed,


Take the normal precautions to guard against purse snatchers. • Carry a copy of identity documents. Keep originals and your valuables in the safety deposit box of your hotel and make sure to list down what you deposit and verify the responsibility assumed by the establishment. • Carry valuables discreetly. Do not carry largo amounts of cash. Keep an eye on your bags and luggage. Do not carry suitcases, bags or sac packs on your return. Do not exchange money out in the street • Do not walk around late at night through areas with poor lighting or without a companion. Always watch your luggage while in Bus stations, never left them alone.

International and long distance national calls can be made from public pay phones. Country and city codes are normally shown o the Telephone booths. • To make an international call, dial: 00 + country code + City code + telephone number. To call from one city to the next, dial: 0 + City code + telephone number Public phones take coins as well as cards, which are sold in stands and supermarkets. Make sure you are buying the card corresponding to the telephone company of the phone you want to use. No collect calls can be made from pay phones. To obtain telephone information, dial 103 (service is in Spanish). WiFiis available in most of the Malls and restaurants. You may rent a mobile phone for $ 10.00 at the airport, this amount is for all the time you stay in Peru.


Internet booths are available everywhere. The average cost per hour is 1 US$.


The offer for hotels is wide and variated, from 5 Stars to cozy bed and breakfast, lodging establishments high season begin in June and is up to December; it is recommended to make your bookings with plenty time in advanced during the high season. It is also possible to stay over at family homes authorized by the National Tourism Board. Make sure you always know the check out time.


* Only drink bottled or previously boiled water
• Be careful with raw vegetables and fruits.
• Avoid eating from street vendors.
• Rest on the first day of your arrival to the Highlands, and consume light meals to prevent altitude illness (soroche). Drinking Mate de coca (coca tea) is recommended.
• If you travel to the Highlands or to the jungle, make sure to carry insect repellent and a raincoat.
• To obtain emergency medical services, contact the staff of your hotel or travel agent.
• Its higly recommendable to purchase a travel insurance before you start your trip.


Most of the cities in Peru have a wide variety of night entertainment. Information about places of interest can be obtained where you are staying. If you wish to enjoy typical Peruvian music, you can visit the so-called “peñas”. In Lima, the most popular discotheques, pubs and night clubs are in the Districts of Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco. In other cities they are normally found in city centers (main square and vicinity).


The amount of the tip in Peru varies with the degree of satisfaction you have with the service provided.

There are flights and connections from Lima to almost all the main cities of Peru; always make reservations in advance. Airport tax: Domestic flights: US$ 6 International fights: US$ 35. Currently air fares includes the airport taxes. You may pay with Credit Cards almost everywhere, some companies surcharge a small fee when purchase are by cards. The inter-provincial bus service covers all destinations in Peru, except for certain cities in the jungle. Inquire into the comfort available, depending in the fare paid and whether or not the service is non stop. Meals are served on board in non-stop bus services.
Taxis and public transportation: It is recommended that taxis used should be from taxi companies (which are requested by phone) or those authorized by the municipalities (in Lima they are painted yellow or blue and white and have a lighted sign over the roof). Taxi meters are not used in Peru, therefore the price must be negotiated before going into the taxi. Ask where you are staying about the average fares to your destination. Urban buses (the most economical alternative) are of the colors and numbers assigned for the specific route. Most of them travel long treks and they may turn out to be uncomfortable. Inquire before taking them: and do not take them too late at night

The tourist rail service covers three routes: Puno - Cusco , Cusco – Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu. Information Peru Rail Lima Armendariz Ave. 397, Miraflores Tel: (01) 444-5020 / 444-5025 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am. to 6 pm. Reservations and Ticket Sales in Arequipa Ave. Tacna Arica Anca 200 Tel: (054) 20-5640 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 7 am. to 5 p.m. Cusco Estacion Wanchac Tel: (084) 23-8722 / 22-1992 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 pm. and 2 p.m. to 4 pm. Juliaca Plaza Bolognesi s/n Tel: (054)32-1112 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 6 am, to lO am. and 2 pm. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: 6 am. to 10 am. Puno Ave. La Torre 224 Tel: (054) 35-1041 /36-9179 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: 7 a.m. to 12 noon.



• Always carry with you your driver’s license and a copy of your passport. If the vehicle is rented, carry the car rental agreement If you have an international driver’s license, it is valid for one year If you have your country’s driver’s license, it is good for 30 days. • Abide by the speed limits posted on the road. • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you do so, you may be subject to criminal charges. • If a traffic officer orders you to stop, do so. He or she must be in uniform and wearing an identification badge (the surname is printed on a plate fixed at his chest). Under no circumstance must the traffic officer enter your vehicle. • Keep in mind that your documents and the vehicle’s documents cannot be retained and that under no circumstances should you have to pay any money. • In case of an accident or collision, call a traffic officer If the vehicle is rented, also call the representative of the insurance company where you rented the vehicle. Wait there; do not move from the place • Do not stop if unknown persons make signs at you on the road. • Do not park in dark places. Do not leave objects which can be seen by passers by. WALKS The South American Explorer Travelers’ Club has a good assortment of maps of routes where one can walk. Ave. República de Portugal 146. Breña, Lima Tel: (01) 425-0142 Service hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 am. To 5 pm. SHOPPING In general, shops, shopping centers and handicraft markets are open everyday (even on holidays) between 9 am. and 8 p.m. In markets and in places such as those where there are beach vendors and street vendors, it is acceptable to bargain ("regateo"). LOST ITEMS, THEFTS AND ROBBERIES Call the Tourism Police: AREQUIPA Calle Jerusalén 315, Cercado Tel: (054) 20-1258 AYACUCHO Arequipa cuadra 1 Tel: (064) 81-2055 /81-8372 CAJAMARCA Ave. 13 de Julio s/n Tel: (044) 82-3042 CHICLAYO Ave. Sáenz Peña 830 Tel: (074) 23-6700 CUSCO Calle Saphi s/n Tel: (084) 24-9654 HUANCAYO Ave. Ferrocarril 556, Cercado Tel: (064) 21-9851 HUARAZ Ave. Laredo y Laredo 716 Tel: (044) 72-1341 ICA Elías Ave. Block 4 Tel: (034) 22-7673 IQUITOS Calle Sargento Lores 834 Tel: (094) 23-1852 LIMA Moore 268, Magdalena del Mar Tel: (01) 460-1060 / 460-0965 /460-0921 / 460-4525 / 460-0890 / 460-0844 NAZCA Ave. Los Incas cuadra 1 Tel: (034) 52-2442 / 52-2450 PUNO Deustua 538 Tel: (054) 36-4806 TACNA Callao 121 Tel: (054) 71-4141 anexo 245 TRUJILLO Independencia 630 Tel: (044) 22-4025



Considered by the World Resources Institute as forming part of the select group of eight “mega diverse” countries, it is estimated that in Peru there are 84 of the 104 life zones existing in the world, nearly 10% of the species of mammals and reptiles of the planet, over 20% of earth’s birds and between 40.000 and 50.000 species of vascular plants (the most developed). Unfortunately many of these species are endangered due to their unauthorized exploitation for the manufacture of tourist souvenirs and the cruel traffic of wildlife (transported under conditions which cause most of them to die during the trip). Each loss reduces earth’s life diversity with indescribable consequences. It is for this reason that Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the extraction, transport, sale and export of all types of wildlife and wild flora, dead or alive, without the authorization of INRENA (1). The prohibition extends to any object made with their parts: crowns or necklaces made of Macaw (guacamayo) feathers, butterfly wings, musical instruments, tigrillo skin (also called ocelote, a small feline resembling a tiger) or “palos de lluvia” (an instrument that reassembles the sound of raindrops).

It is absolutely prohibited to take photographs of airports, military bases, places near high tension towers and police stations. In some churches and museums it is prohibited to take photographs or film. Ask first.

Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the sale and export of original pieces of the national cultural heritage. Abstain from buying them. However if you are interested in taking to your country samples of Peruvian pre-Hispanic or Colonial art, you may buy replicas. Replicas are all objects of modern manufacture imitating shapes and decorative figures of pre-Hispanic or Colonial pieces (ceramic pieces, gold and silver works, stonework, woodworks, textiles, paintings and others). When buying replicas of pre-Hispanic or Colonial works, make sure they have been certified by the INC (2); this certificate can be obtained at any of the offices of this institution, located in all departmental capitals. If you are leaving Peru through the Jorge Chavez Airport, visit the INC booth after you pass through immigration post. The authorization can be granted automatically.


It is absolutely prohibited to carry drugs. It you do so; you will be arrested and put in jail for a long, long time: minimum 10 years. Do not accept to take in your luggage packages belonging to strangers, under any circumstances. Be careful always.

We would appreciate your comments, observations and suggestions which should be forwarded to: Inca Xpress Peru, Jose Pardo Ave. 610, Ofc. 4 Miraflores - Lima , Peru. E – Mail: info@tourperu.net

Notes: 1. National Institute of Natural Resources The National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) is the State’s public organization responsible for promoting the rational use of natural resources. Current legal regulations impose severe sanctions to any person who hunt, extract, transport, sell or export wildlife or wild flora species as well as their products and by-products including handicrafts made with such products without the corresponding authorization.